Vitamin B6 (also called pyridoxine) is a necessary vitamin that helps keep the well being of your entire physique. This necessary nutrient performs a key function in mind growth and conserving your nerves and immune system working as they need to. 

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Your physique doesn’t produce B6 naturally, however it’s discovered in lots of meals. It’s additionally out there in dietary supplements like multivitamins and B-complex dietary supplements that comprise a number of completely different B nutritional vitamins.

“If you’re not getting enough vitamin B6, your healthcare provider may recommend a supplement,” says dietitian Joyce Prescott, RD. “It generally doesn’t take much to bring your vitamin B6 levels up to where they should be.”

What is vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6 is one in all eight B nutritional vitamins that assist your physique develop and performance correctly. Your physique makes use of small quantities of this nutrient for greater than 100 chemical (enzyme) reactions concerned in your metabolism.

B6 is water-soluble (dissolves in water), which implies your physique disposes of any extra B6 in your urine. It additionally means it’s essential replenish your B6 persistently, ideally from an general balanced weight loss program that features meats, grains, greens and nuts. And in the event you don’t eat meat, B6 is obtainable in lots of different meals, so you possibly can simply make sure you get sufficient B6 by the right combination of meals. However, be cautious about taking a B6 complement for an prolonged interval, as this will result in toxicity. To keep wholesome B6 ranges, it’s finest to get this vitamin by meals sources.

What is vitamin B6 good for?

Vitamin B6 has been proven to have antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. It performs many necessary roles in your physique. It helps make:

  • DNA, the genetic constructing blocks of your physique.
  • Hemoglobin, the elements of crimson blood cells that carry oxygen to your physique.
  • Neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that ship indicators from nerve cells to different cells.

“It’s important to be sure to get enough B6 from foods, or talk to your provider if you suspect you are deficient,” says Prescott.

Research suggests vitamin B6 might supply these seven potential well being advantages:

1. Prevent and deal with anemia

Studies have linked low ranges of vitamin B6 (in addition to iron) with anemia, particularly in pregnant folks and people of childbearing age. Anemia happens while you don’t have sufficient hemoglobin to hold oxygen to your physique’s tissues.

Vitamin B6 helps produce crimson blood cells.  In truth, it’s been proven to assist deal with a situation known as sideroblastic anemia, a uncommon genetic dysfunction that impacts how your physique produces crimson blood cells.

2. Improve temper

Vitamin B6 is concerned in producing neurotransmitters, like serotonin, that may assist regulate temper and even assist sleep. Some analysis suggests that top doses of B6 could also be efficient at decreasing anxiousness and different temper issues.

One large study confirmed that larger vitamin B6 consumption is related to decrease depression and anxiety danger in females, however not males. Scientists additionally recently found younger adults felt much less anxious and depressed after taking high-dose vitamin B6 dietary supplements day by day for a month.

3. Promote mind well being

Vitamin B6 is necessary to your mind well being due to its function in making neurotransmitters. A deficiency of nutritional vitamins B6 and B12 has been related to decreased mind perform. But there isn’t any proof but that dietary supplements can sluggish cognitive decline or stop neurological points.

4. Ease nausea throughout being pregnant

B6 performs a number of very important roles in guaranteeing a wholesome being pregnant. But it’s best known for serving to to alleviate nausea throughout being pregnant and extreme morning illness (hyperemesis gravidarum).

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends vitamin B6 dietary supplements as an over-the-counter remedy to ease signs. Supplements might also comprise doxylamine, which has been confirmed a secure and efficient remedy for these signs.

5. Protect your coronary heart

This vital nutrient additionally helps your physique keep regular ranges of homocysteine, an amino acid that helps to construct proteins, however can even result in blood clots or blood vessel blockages if ranges are too excessive.

Some evidence means that low blood ranges of vitamin B6 could also be related to a better danger of loss of life from coronary artery illness, however dietary supplements haven’t but been proven to cut back the danger of coronary heart illness or stroke.

6. Reduce your likelihood of most cancers

Vitamin B6 performs a key function within the wholesome progress and growth of your cells. Research exhibits its deficiency is associated with irritation and inflammation-related power diseases, corresponding to rheumatoid arthritis.

It’s unclear but whether or not vitamin B6 in meals or dietary supplements helps decrease your danger of growing cancer. But early studies recommend a hyperlink between ample consumption of B6 and different B nutritional vitamins and reduced risk of some kinds of most cancers, together with colorectal cancer.

7. Lower danger of eye illness

Research means that each day supplementation of vitamin B6, folic acid and B12 might scale back the danger of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In one study, feminine examine contributors taking these dietary supplements each day for seven years had a decrease danger of AMD.

Is an excessive amount of vitamin B6 dangerous?

While vitamin B6 has many advantages, an excessive amount of from dietary supplements could be dangerous. Check with a healthcare supplier earlier than taking any dietary supplements.

The higher restrict of vitamin B6 for adults is 100 milligrams (mg) per day. Much greater than that will trigger:

  • Ataxia (lack of management of physique actions).
  • Nausea or heartburn.
  • Nerve injury and numbness in your fingers or ft (peripheral neuropathy).
  • Reduced capability to sense excessive temperatures or ache (sensory neuropathy).
  • Sensitivity to daylight (photosensitivity).

How a lot vitamin B6 do I would like per day?

The quantity of B6 you want is determined by your age. Your beneficial vitamin B6 consumption (in milligrams) is:

Age Recommended Daily Amount
6 to 11 months*  0.3 mg
1 to three years 0.5 mg
4 to eight years 0.6 mg
9 to 13 years 1 mg
14 to 50 years 1.2 to 1.3 mg
50+ 1.5 to 1.7 mg
Pregnant adults 1.9 mg
Lactating adults 2 mg

*Adequate Intake
Source: 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Do I must take vitamin B6 dietary supplements?

Most of the time, you don’t must take dietary supplements, as B6 is contained in all kinds of meals. Make certain you eat a diverse weight loss program, and speak to your supplier in the event you expertise signs or adjustments in your well being. When wanted, multivitamins that comprise B6 or B-complex dietary supplements that comprise a number of kinds of B nutritional vitamins could be useful.

Sometimes, healthcare suppliers use B6 dietary supplements to deal with sure well being circumstances, like:

  • Nausea (morning illness) in being pregnant.
  • Rare seizure dysfunction (pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy) in infants and kids.
  • Sideroblastic anemia.

“Whatever you do, don’t try to treat a vitamin deficiency on your own,” advises Prescott. “Your provider will work with you to restore adequate B6 levels in a safe and effective way.”

What are the most effective sources of vitamin B6?

Foods wealthy in vitamin B6 embrace meats, fruits, greens, fish and nuts. In addition, it’s typically added to meals (fortified) corresponding to cereals.

“You can find B6 in a range of foods that are widely available, and easy to add to a balanced meal,” says Prescott. “It helps to know what to look for, and how little you need to keep your body working well.”

Good sources of vitamin B6 embrace:

  • Fish: Tuna is a heart-healthy fish that has one of many highest quantities of vitamin B6 of any meals. Three ounces of cooked yellowfin tuna offers you 53% of your beneficial each day consumption. Sockeye salmon can also be loaded with B6 and is one other nice choice on the seafood counter.
  • Beef: Beef is wealthy in vitamin B6. By selecting grass-fed, leaner cuts, it’s also possible to keep away from the draw back of meats: saturated fats. Chicken liver and beef liver merchandise are additionally nice sources of B6.
  • Tofu: Tofu is a good plant-based protein supply that can also be wealthy in vitamin B6, with 1 cup offering 66% of the beneficial each day quantity.
  • Dairy merchandise: A cup of 1% low-fat cottage cheese offers you 12% of your beneficial each day worth (DV) of B6. It’s additionally present in cheese, particularly sorts containing whey.
  • Eggs: Eggs are a nutritious a part of any meal. No matter the way you put together them, you may get 10% of your beneficial each day worth of B6 by consuming two eggs.
  • Fruits and greens: One cup of chickpeas gives 65% of your beneficial each day quantity. Other plant-based meals wealthy in vitamin B6 embrace:
  • Sweet potato.
  • Potatoes.
  • Bananas.
  • Avocado.
  • Green peas.
  • Pistachios.
  • Carrots.
  • Spaghetti squash.
  • Spinach.

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